KOTA KINABALU: FOLKS in Kampung Tudan, Kota Belud, will soon be able to benefit from a mushroom farming programme, which is aimed at improving livelihood of farmers and lifting them out of poverty.
The programme is a tie-up between non-governmental organisation Hopes Malaysia and Sabah Oriental Hotel.
Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently.
Under the programme, a mushroom house will be built on a 0.4ha site at the village by November this year. The financing will be done through a fundraising drive.
For a start, five families have been identified to do the mushroom farming full-time, with the supply expected to reach Sabah Oriental Hotel the earliest by year-end.
One of the farmers, Kipol Surag, who sells oyster mushroom on a small scale, said production could reach 50kg per day once the mushroom house operated on full capacity.
The 62-year-old said he had been farming all his life, including rubber tapping.
“I normally sell mushrooms at markets. One kg of oyster mushrooms may fetch between RM11 and RM13.
“If everything goes well, we can cultivate the mushrooms and harvest them in a month,” he said at the signing ceremony recently.
Hopes Malaysia official adviser Jack Lee said the organisation was glad to be able to commit to the supply and purchase agreement.
“We will proceed with the construction of the facility (mushroom house). To reduce costs, it will be built by Hopes volunteers. Even the mushroom house is designed by our own engineers.
“In the long run, we expect more families to join in,” he said.
The MoU documents were inked by Hopes Malaysia founder Sam Lee and Sabah Oriental Hotel general manager Vincent Chen.
In July last year, Hopes Malaysia helped to construct a clean water supply project in Kg Tudan. The project has benefited some 200 villagers, who faced a water shortage crisis